paint n pallet

Hi friends!  Are you all back in full swing after the holidays?  I am just about there.  Not quite but just about.  Last week while many of you were relaxing in your pj’s and drinking egg nog, I was getting a ton of work done…my day job, my night job – the blog, house projects and more.  Therefore I spent yesterday in sweats putting away Christmas decorations which was surprisingly less depressing than usual; snuggling my snoring puppy; catching up on blogs; and watching a Sex and the City marathon which made me feel old since I watched these episodes all throughout college.  I tend to still think of college as just a couple of years ago but I guess a decade is longer than just a couple of years ago!  Hmmph.  Anywho, it was a perfectly uneventful day off after non-stop busyness.

Moving right along…today I have a before and after reveal for you that I am super excited about!  Here’s a glimpse at the after…

Last week we spent some time focusing on the dated galley kitchen in Cape May.  The cabinets, appliances, countertop and backsplash were all very late 80’s style but in excellent condition from little use over the years.  It is like no one ever used the kitchen in this old beach house ’til we got here.  With that said, we just couldn’t justify a full reno nor was it in the budget.  Here’s the awful before…

We found a couple of ways to transform this galley to become the rustic coastal kitchen that the beach house (and us) deserves.

Starting with the backsplash…the original was a sheet of plastic.  So 1988.  In the photo above it looks like drywall but it is actually waterproof.  This turned out to be a great base for the new reclaimed wood backsplash.  Would you believe it if I told you that reclaimed wood is an old shipping pallet?  For more details on the pallet wood, click here.

True story and I love it!  Ryan took a weathered oak pallet board apart and cut them into 18 inch segments.  He laid them out to play with the configurations and I scrubbed them clean.  I actually bathed them in the bathtub.  Weird but totally worth it.

The bf adhered the wood backsplash to the plastic walls with liquid nails.  He mixed up the light and dark colors and stained and plain in the layout to give lots of texture to the wall.

Then it was time to give the cabinets a makeover. We removed all of the doors and primed the wood veneer.  I couldn’t wait to kiss the 1980’s builder grade cabinets goodbye!  Isn’t it crazy how much of a disaster zone a little project can become?

We chose Benjamin Moore’s Woodmont Cream for the cabinets to brighten up the space.

It worked.  Two coats and they’re like new and so. much. brighter.  For more details on how we painted the laminate cabinets, click here.

And I’ll tell you what, with this new look in the kitchen I like the old school appliances.  I might even call them vintage, with love.

I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

Would you believe this transformation only cost about $60?  The cost of paint, primer and liquid nails plus our time planning and labor.

Did I mention the pallets were free?  Trash to treasure baby!

Here is an update on how the kitchen looked in 2013.

UPDATE: Check out the 2014 update here.

cement counters-4511


74 thoughts on “paint n pallet

  1. LOOOOVE LOOOOOVE LOOOOOVE this idea of the wood backsplash!! looks amAAAZING! can you please do this to our kitchen when we move?? haha. You and the BF are quite a good team!

  2. I absolutely love this look!!! 😀 What a super-fantastic idea. I cannot wait to show this project to Mr. Art @ Home.

    Wilson is too cute! He looks exhausted. You should be because you have been doing so much!!! We just got back from vacation, and I won’t be able to take down Christmas decor for a few more days….I keep telling everyone I am keeping it up until after Twelfth Night….that is my story and I am sticking to it!!!

    Super post, and I am enjoying your blog so much.

    Happy New Year!
    Ricki Jill

  3. This is such a fantastic transformation. So imaginative! and I cannot believe how cheap it was! I have a feeling this will catch on…

  4. Dana, it’s beautiful! The new look is rustic beauty to me. Great great work and I can’t believe how affordable too.

  5. Wow, What a wonderful transformation! Love the painted cabinets and the texture of the wood. Thank you for sharing your project at the Open House Party.

  6. I just repainted my cabinets with BM white dove-no hardware drawers like yours and I can peel the paint right off with my fingernails?! Yours looks perfect, did you prep at all before you painted? We didn’t sand at all but we did use a special primer suggested by a HomeDepot employee. ??

    1. Hi Janie – We primed, then painted with a brush and final coat with a roller. I think it helps that it has cured for awhile without use which is probably hard to do in a primary kitchen. I will tell you that I am considering adding hardware because I have noticed fingerprints showing up on the light color. I would also suggest using felt pads between where the drawer hits the cabinet base. I think this will reduce sticking so peeling doesn’t occur. Make sense?

  7. i am enjoying not only your backsplash , which is beautiful, the entire blog is filled with manny creative and budget friendly inpirations that baring the money they stand on their own as a fine end merchandise . look up michael taylor he created a look called the big sur from california and he would of loved your backsplash as much as we all are , thank you

  8. The cabinets look like wook-look veneer Formicia how did you get the paint to stick?

    I have the same cabinets 1980s white formicia and the only way I could think of to change the look was red contact paper it was cheap and easy and I like it for a while until I figure out something else to do with my 1980s white formicia kitchen

      1. Thank you for asking the question! I would love to see what you do to yours as well. I too have horrendous 80′s white/oak formica cabinets. I envy all those with old wood cabinet doors, but this post gives hope!

    1. Thank you for asking the question! I would love to see what you do to yours as well. I too have horrendous 80’s white/oak formica cabinets. I envy all those with old wood cabinet doors, but this post gives hope!

  9. I wonder if leaving the upper cabinets without doors would have worked. Shelves replacing box cabinets are very happening, and I actually like the increased depth that the in-progress pic shows. You could even have faced the edges with more pallet wood!

  10. I absolutely love the look and the creativity of the backsplash. I was curious if you did anything about its clean-ability. It probably isn’t a big deal under the cabinets, but I know the area behind my stove gets a lot of cooking residue. Any tips? I wondered if a clear plexi veneer would work, but it would likely undo the rustic look that the wood achieves.

  11. A word of caution re: painted cabinets. The kitchen in our 1920 house has metal cabinets from 1949. The previous owners painted over the existing base with white paint, using a roller. Let me tell you, they are impossible to keep clean. Granted, we cook a lot. But even Dana noted that fingerprints started appearing on hers. I don’t know what type of paint the previous owners of my house used, that may be part of the problem. Looks to be a regular latex. Maybe a special cabinet-grade high gloss paint would be OK.

  12. I love your back splash. We are oing to attempt this project this week hopefully. I was just curious did you attach the pieces together and adhere it as a whole or one by one. Sorry to be so specific I just love the look of yours its very “gap’ free compared to others I’ve seen.

  13. I’ve never done a backsplash before. Can you hang shelving from it directly? Heavy enough to put pots and things on?

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