So I Painted My Kitchen Cabinets, Part Two

Before I bore you to crashing new lows with pictures of how I put up some window treatments in my kitchen without sewing a single stitch, I feel like I need to say something.

I still haven’t watched the most recent episode of The Bachelorette. I know. I KNOW.

So, since I haven’t seen it, I haven’t blogged about it. Some sweet friends spent the night with us Monday, and we ate good Mexican food and painted canvases (oh yes we did) and played spades and ate strawberry cake. It just didn’t seem right to interrupt all the fun to watchThe Bachelorette and then have to listen to Tanner P. talk about Jillian’s feet.

Any. way.

A few of y’all have emailed me with cabinet-painting questions, and considering that I have painted kitchen cabinets one whole time in my life, I don’t know that I’m your best resource. But as far as my personal experience: no, I didn’t sand the doors. Well, that’s not entirely true. I sanded one of them, hated the mess it made all over my countertops, decided that sanding would make my life miserable since it would essentially shut down my kitchen for a full day and the people around here are real funny in that they expect to eat and stuff, so I didn’t sand. I also didn’t take the doors off before I painted because the hinges had already been painted, so it wasn’t like I could restore them to their original glory. I just painted over them again. I also didn’t paint my shelves because they didn’t really need it.

Another also: since our house is about 35 years old, our cabinets are real-live wood, and I think that’s one reason the painting was pretty easy. Maybe. I don’t know. Maybe laminate is easier. I don’t know. Why am I giving advice? I’m an amateur. Don’t listen to me.

I have some issues with confidence.

After I finished painting the cabinets, I decided to recover my chairs in the fabric I showed you a couple of days ago. You know. This stuff.

So I recovered the chairs and really liked the results but felt a little sad that you couldn’t see the fabric as soon as you walked in the kitchen. It seemed like the fabric needed to be on the windows, but how in the world could I do that because I’m not a very strong seamstress, and by that I mean that while yes, I could sew on a button for you, you wouldn’t necessarily want for me to do that. Because of how horrid it would look after I was finished and all.


Saturday afternoon Melanie reminded me of a post of The Nester’s where she documented how she made window treatments in her sister’s kitchen. So I re-read it. And I thought about my fabric. And I decided that if I could just figure out the right places to fold it, I could do something similar.

The Nester uses upholstery tacks when she does no-sew window treatments, and while I did have some upholstery tacks, I was working by myself and couldn’t seem to keep the fabric in the right place AND nail in the tack. So I used clear push pins like you’d use on a bulletin board (obviously I am very, very fancy). I’ll go back at some point and replace the push pins with upholstery tacks, but for now they’re fine. You can barely see them.

I made a practice treatment on our garage door – I just cut about a yard of fabric, then folded it and folded it until the part of the pattern that I wanted to show was showing AND until I figured out what length worked best on our window panes. This part of the process probably took me 30 or 45 minutes – there was lots of folding and refolding and pushpinning and whathaveyou – but once I figured out a little system, it was easy breezy from there on out (Nester’s instructions are way more specific and helpful, by the way).

And here’s the almost-final result, except for the part where I replace the push pins with upholstery tacks and make a few little daily adjustments because I am an obsessive adjuster and also quite annoying.

This is in the little office off of the kitchen, only now it’s totally even because you’d better know I spent some quality time getting everything JUST SO Sunday afternoon.

And this is in the actual kitchen, only now the one on the far right is a little bit shorter so that it matches up better with the others. The big window in the center actually has two separate window treatments – I just tried to pin them so they’d look like one big thing.

(Yes, I know the animal print on the table doesn’t match. I’ll cross that bridge in a couple of days or maybe sometime in 2012.)

Best part?


Zero dollars and zero cents.

And on top of that, the kitchen feels so much warmer and cozier and betterer. I can’t even tell you how much more “finished” it feels. Makes me smile every single time I walk in there – maybe even moreso because the fabric was Aunt Roxie’s and I just know she’d be so tickled that I’m getting to enjoy it every single day.

Here’s the thing: if you can fold fabric and use a thumbtack, you can TOTALLY do this. Oh yes ma’am you can. It may not be perfect, but it’ll be bright and crisp and colorful and cheerful. And that is always delightful.

The end.

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  1. Love it. Fruit and flowers are my friends. I have to restrain myself from over use.

  2. I think it looks great! And I’m all about not sewing if I don’t have to. :)

  3. Beautiful!

  4. It’s gorgeous! I’m impressed, and I love the colors, too. AND the fabric, as well as the story behind it. Wow, don’t you feel like you really accomplished something? (ummm, maybe because you DID!)

  5. Love it. And I know I just swore off blue when we moved here, after being forced into ‘country’ blue carpeting, tile, counters for 8 years, but I really love YOUR blue, and I LOVE blue and green. So pretty! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. LOVE. IT. Anything that makes you smile when you walk in a room is perfect. Thumbtacks and all.

  7. I really love this fabric, and I am oh-so-impressed by your window treatments. This whole project makes me want to say, “Fabulous, dahling, simply fabulous!” a la Eva Gabor. Great job!

  8. I love it! It’s perfect just like that. But if you get an itch for something sewn, bring the fabric and your dimensions with you in a couple of weeks, and we’ll just whip something up.

  9. JustBetty says:

    Love it. The windows look happy.

    But this chick still has you beat :

    [Just saying.]

  10. Wow, that looks great! I am so impressed.

  11. Did you notice that your kitchen colors totally match the colors of your blog design? I’m seeing a trend here…Love your kitchen. Aunt Roxy would be delighted.

  12. carolyn says:

    I love it! Looks beautiful! And i have to say that you made my whole entire day when you said that you painted over the hinges on your cabinets! Because i just painted my bathroom cabinets, hinges and all, and now i feel great about it!! :) (and i didn’t sand them, either)

  13. Sarah K says:

    I am impressed. I have been leary of tackling my kitchen on my own, but it really needs updating me. You’ve inspired me to give it a go. Thanks.

  14. Voila! Beautiful! I did something similar with vintage aprons. You can see my pictures here:

    This is also a good post to show you why I need to spray paint my, well, my entire kitchen, but also my cabinet knobs! :)

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your easy breezy ideas! My kitchen windows have been bare for 2 1/2 years, since I moved into my house. Now I know exactly what I’m going to do! Thanks again!

  16. I love this Boo Mama…looks beautiful. And the best part…it’s free. Great job, girl!

  17. Oh, girl I LOVE that fabric….it is so gorgeous and what a great mistreatment of it you did!! round of applause for you!!!
    It DOES look warm and cozy!


  18. and now matches your blog!!! thumbs up!

  19. Well done! Golly, it looks just beautiful.

  20. Okay, that looks fabulous!! My playroom currently has no curtains because they are darn expensive and I can’t find ones I like. BUT…I did find some fabric that I loved. Hmmm…me making curtains? I don’t know. Me folding and using thumb tacks? I believe I can! :)

  21. I love love love this. I love the fabric, I love the colors, I love the hardware. I am very impressed! Good Job! :)

  22. I love it – that’s my kind of project. Simple, easy, and free!

  23. It’s all so beautifully cool, calm, and soothing. The window treatments are lovely, but what about… “So I recovered the chairs…”? Is there and easy breezy way to do that with limited seamstress skills?

  24. You are ALMOST inspiring me to get up and make some window treatments … and paint my cabinets. I need to do it soon.

    I think your windows are beautiful – great job. And, I love the colors.

  25. Those curtains are really pretty. I used an old quilt top made by my grandmother for my kitchen window. Blue also! You can share decorating tips with me anytime..

  26. Yay! Good job!

  27. i know this is a post about your curtains, but, i really like the color of your walls! :) i really like that blue!
    way to be creative! :) its a good feeling isnt it?!

  28. I love it all, but my favorite thing is that the fabric came from someone you loved! And, yes, she would be tickled that you’re using it! Whenever we have something special going on with the whole family, I use my grandmother’s china and silver rather than our wedding china for no other reason than I think it would please her. :)

    Beautiful, Sophie!

  29. I enjoyed the homemaking/cabinet-painting/curtain-hanging fun blogs….but BooMama! We’re waiting on our post-Bachelorette very special BooMama bloggie post!!

    Isn’t it annoying that life sometimes doesn’t realize that Monday nights from 8-10 is DO NOT DISTURB time? J/K..glad you had a nice evening undistracted by the (very) cheap drama. It was such a retarded episode anyway, which is why I’m pining to read your take on it.

    God bless!

  30. Fab job, Sophie! I love the color of the walls and the fabric. Watch out Nate Berkus!

  31. THANK YOU! Those are fabulous! With beautiful fabric like that, anything more fussy or ornate would have been sinful, really. I love them. Now if I could just find some fabric I love as much as yours. That would go with my FIRE ENGINE RED kitchen walls. BLARGH.

    What you have there, my friend, is perfection!

  32. I am soooo inspired. I have about a million windows in my home that need window treatments and I just refused to spend $200 on drapes made from cheap fabric just because someone put a seam on the bottom. REFUSE. Thanks for the info.

  33. I love a simple project that looks a whole lot richer and more complicated than it is! I have a simple window covering tip, as well: Find some cloth napkins that you love, and fold them once so that they form a triangle. Hang the fold over a drapery rod, letting the tip of the triangle hang down. One napkin is sufficient for a small window (think single window in the kitchen door.) You can also “thumbtack” the top fold of the napkin into the wood frame if you don’t have a rod hanging. For a larger window, buy multiple napkins (looks best with an odd number) and overlap them starting from the outside of the window to the center–with the center napkin as the top layer. I would post a photo, but I don’t know how. ;-(

  34. Love. This. (-:

  35. Awesome job.

    And I’m coveting the bowl.

  36. Can I just say that I love this?? Thanks girl for making all of us out here (who are not so good at this sort of thing) now feel inspired and empowered :). Maybe I really could put a window treatment up by this computer where I am typing…or maybe I will just keep reading blogs a little longer…

  37. You had me at strawberry cake.

  38. They look beautiful and I love that last pic of the little guy’s cross in it! So adorable. Who knew decorating could be so easy? We’ll see if I’m daring enough to actually try it sometime this year!! I know, ambitious goals.

  39. Emma Kate says:

    you make me smile!!!!

  40. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

    Can I say I am so proud of you without sounding patronizing? Because I am not patronizing you. I am so proud of you!

    Do you find yourself just standing and staring at it for five minutes at a time with a beatific look on your face? Cause that’s what I do whenever I complete a project.

  41. Amy Reyes says:


  42. Looks like the perfect place to settle in for good cookin’ which I know you serve up. Love it!

  43. Have I told you lately how much I love it when you link to me? Open the floodgates.

    Oh, and your mistreatments look fab as well! Nice work. Wish we could sit at that table together, eat bacon and iced coffee and laugh together!

  44. lavonda says:

    Oh my goodness, I have the same milk glass cake stand. My grandparents got it as a wedding gift in 1940, and I have it in my kitchen today. So precious!

    love your color scheme!