My Biggest FAIL Fixed

I have posted in the past I don’t have many FAILS but when I do they are EPIC on so many levels.  I am now going to introduce you to my Biggest FAIL, my kitchen cabinets.  Five years ago we moved into our house and our cabinets were oak (or so I thought) and I have never been a huge light wood fan so I wanted them darker.  I took a week off work so we could move and I decided to strip my cabinets and varnish them to look like a dark wood.  I wanted a dark java color, I got a mahogany color because that was the closest I could get (I should have stopped here this was my sign).  I also did not want paint I wanted varnish because I did not like the look of painted wood.  We also bought this all natural stripper that smelled like oranges it worked well but the cabinet were not oak they were “faux oak” meaning they were crap.  I was still optimistic thinking if I could get them down to the bare wood I could make them look pretty.  Not so by the fourth door I realized this was not going to work.  I tried stripping, sanding, scrapping with a heat tool and I could not get them to the bare wood but I pushed on and then half way through I was frustrated and said screw it, I didn’t touch the cabinets anymore.  I would go out every now and then and strip one or two varnish them so I would have space in my garage and eventually I put up finished (crappy looking doors) over a half stripped base (it was that bad).  Did this bother me?  Yes, every time I walked into my kitchen I felt like my cabinets were laughing at me.  Over time I figured I would some day I would come up with an idea to make the cabinets look like I always wanted.

Before:  These cabinets were not terrible but they still look pretty bad.

Before: These cabinets were not terrible but they still look pretty bad.

Before:  Absolutely awful, the unfinished base is my favorite.

Before: Absolutely awful, the unfinished base is my favorite.

 

Last week I was finishing up some trim in the bathroom and it hit me I wonder if the paint would work on the cabinets in the kitchen.  I went into the kitchen and painted a section and was pleasantly surprised by the result.

Test spot to see how the paint would look.

Test spot to see how the paint would look.

 

I started with taking one door off.  I only took one door off because taking doors off is a HUGE pain.  I painted around the others.

I started with taking one door off. I only took one door off because taking doors off is a HUGE pain. I painted around the others.

After about an hour worth of painting I had beautiful looking cabinets and was so excited because they were what I always wanted.

After:  They look so much better!

After: They look so much better!

After:  I added the cork board and the frame (made from foam core so I would have to use tape on the cabinets to display artwork.  My plan is to make 4 frames (2 for each child).

After: I added the cork board and the frame (made from foam core so I would have to use tape on the cabinets to display artwork. My plan is to make 4 frames (2 for each child).

 

 

Here is my kitchen side by side:

Kitchen Cabinets

 

There you have it my biggest FAIL into a fantastic save it only took me five years to figue it out but I finally figured it out.  My kitchen now makes me smile every time I walk in there oppose to an eye-roll because my cabinets looked like crap.  Sometimes you have to go against what you think you want to try something new, paint instead of varnish and in my opinion it looks amazing!

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