The Power of Paint!

Friday, 18 January 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have been in my duplex for over a decade now and slowly, room by room, I’m making it my own. It’s been a gradual process because I’ve been honing my own style and, as we all know, renos can be expensive.

While I’ve replaced some countertops, carpeting, and redone a few floors, some of my biggest household transformations have come via A CAN OF PAINT – and not even on the walls!  Big change for relatively small change.  (However to be clear, I didn’t do the painting myself, I hired a very well-priced professional!)

Kitchen Cabinets:

The main living area is an open space concept, living room, dining room and kitchen combined.  I wanted the kitchen to look more modern and updated.  I painted the cabinets white (Simply White), the same colour as the walls. 

The following year I re-did the backsplash, then replaced the countertops and finally, last winter, re-stained the floors darker.  Granted some of these projects were pricey but I saved a lot by simply repainting instead of replacing those cupboards.

Kitchen – Before


Kitchen – After

Bathroom Cabinets:

My bathroom cabinets were maple-coloured and tired.  In the master bathroom I painted them Benjanim Moore’s Wenge, a dark brown to play off the granite countertop. In the guest bathroom, I went with a darker grey on the cabinets and lighter grey on the walls. It looks cool and crisp.

Master Bathroom – After (Sorry, I forgot to take a before photo!)


Guest Bathroom – Before


Guest Bathroom – After

Bedroom Furniture:

The bedroom really wasn’t “me” for a long time.  The furniture was heavy and overly masculine. (See photo at the very top.)  I got rid of the bed frame (saved for a future guest room), but what to do with the imposing and dark chests of drawers? They’re very utilitarian – i.e. big enough for all my gack – so I’d be basically looking for the same thing in another colour. 

Dresser – before


Tallboy dresser – before

Peridot’s Leah Balderson put me in touch with a great painter, who spray painted the chest of drawers and tallboy a glossy white. (Simply White again.) I love how they turned out…fresh and more feminine, for probably a third of the price of buying new. Plus, I much prefer recycling to tossing or reselling. 

Dresser – after


Tallboy dresser – after

My work is not yet done

I hate the tiles in the bathrooms. Maybe a project for 2013! What are your penny-saving reno tips?



top of page | | back to posts |
  • Subscribe to the A&K Newsletter

  • Jill

    Did you just paint directly on the pieces or did you prep our pieces before hand?

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Hi Jill, since all of my surfaces already had some sort of finish, they had to be sanded and prepped beforehand so that the new paint would stick.

  • Diane Bowdi

    Nice Work! Did you paint the kitchen cabinets yourself? Paint brush or spray?

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Hi Diane, I didn’t do the cabinets myself, I hired a professional. I wanted to make sure they looked great!

  • http://twitter.com/HRinheels Julie Farnsworth

    Where did you get the light fixtures for your kitchen island? They are AMAZING!

    • annaandkristina

      Hi Julie, thanks! I bought the lighting fixtures from Liberty Furniture in Vancouver, but it was a few years ago now. They have a store on Homer street in Yaletown. http://www.libertyliving.ca

  • Sandy Lewis

    Hi, I love what you’ve done. A couple questions….are the backsplash tiles clear glass or white? What color is the dark grey on your guest bath cabinets? So beautiful!!!

    • http://www.annaandkristina.com/ Kristina

      Hi Sandy, the backsplash tiles are clear but the against the wall, they take on a bluish tinge. The dark grey on the bathroom cabinets is by Benjamin Moore, called Overcoat. (I’ve always loved paint names!)