Can Annie Sloan Chalk Paint transform these kitchen cabinets? Jessica’s retro kitchen before and after

retro kitchenjessicaAfter purchasing her 1960s split-level house, Jessica wanted to dial up the retro in the relatively plain kitchen. Owner of J. Paris Designs, a furniture refinishing and repurposing business, she used her refinishing skills and design know-how, the resources on Retro Renovation, and some help from her husband Dan and dog Harlow to enliven the space. 

retro kitchenJessica writes:

Our home is an average 1960s split level.  It had been stripped down and painted white when we bought it at the beginning of this past summer, with very little original character left.

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The kitchen was worn and grimy and none of the (original) appliances worked.

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We replaced everything except the cabinets, which I painted with a mixture of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and water with a spray gun.  I finished them with Polycrylic. The finish has held up wonderfully!

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We built and laminated the countertops ourselves with the Formica Charcoal Boomerang laminate purchased from Home Depot.  I had ordered a few samples of the Wilsonart styles you have advertised, but none of the colors were right.  The charcoal is just enough retro without being overpowering.

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The cabinet knobs, hinges, and porcelain on steel sink (complete with Hudee ring) all came from HD Supply (thanks, Kate, for the affordable knob recommendation!) As you know, finding a white sink with a hudee ring is kind of difficult.  I couldn’t accept the high cost of the Kohler ones you had written about, but the HD Supply one was very affordable! I will say, it is much shallower than most sinks, which is why we went with the high goose neck industrial style faucet.

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The countertop trim molding (both front piece and cove base in back) came from Eagle Mouldings. They were very helpful answering any of my questions. I did realize after I purchased the trim that I had bought aluminum, not stainless like Pam’s kitchen. Aluminum can’t be bent at a 90 degree angle around corners like stainless can. We ended up having to cut and miter the edges ourselves, which was incredibly challenging. The new stove ended up being six full inches wider than the original built-in one (something you don’t always think about) so we had to adjust that area accordingly.

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I reused the existing NuTone range hood by taping off the chrome and painting it with a can of Rust-Oleum Appliance Paint from Home Depot.  It looks spectacular and brand new!

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I researched different flooring patterns for the VCT and ended up using the basketweave pattern with three different colors. The brand is Vinylasa, and the colors are Ebony (VT569), Steel Works (VT522), and Shooting Star (VT557). I purchased the flooring from a local independent flooring store because they had more color options than Home Depot or the like.  I was worried it would be too busy, but once it was done, I was in love!

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The funky Sputnik style light was purchased at Menard’s for around $170 – which I thought was an awesome price!  The teardrop shaped pendant was the only cool part of the original kitchen, and I was happy to keep it.

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I made the pendant over the sink using an inexpensive pendant kit and a collander from Home Goods.  The backsplash is just simple white subway tile with grey grout.

retro kitchen remodel

Jessica, your kitchen looks fantastic! It’s interesting to see someone use Annie Sloan Chalk Pain to finish cabinets. This paint can sand down to such a smooth finish, we can see why it could be great for cabinetry, assuming the adhesion holds. Can you give us your opinion on how you think it will hold up long term, given that you that you work with this paint professionally?

Thanks so much for sharing your project with us — way to go, DIY squad!

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I think Harlow likes it too!

  1. Marlene says:

    I love your kitchen. I am such a retro grl. One question: Where did you get the knobs for your cupboards?

  2. Rebecca says:

    I know this is post is a little older but I’m needing some help with my range hood. I have one that is nearly identical to the one here, only mine vents outside. I desperately want to keep it, repaint it, and use it again but what about the guts to the fan and lights? Were these in good enough condition that you didn’t have to do anything with them or did you figure out how to replace them? Mine are shot so there’s no hope of keeping that part.

  3. Tiffany Phares says:

    Oh! This is perfect! My husband and I are looking at a 1961 ranch house and it was also “updated” in the 80’s…we were trying to decide how we could bring some character back into it if we did indeed purchase-and your kitchen will definitely be one we pull from. Gorgeously done!

  4. Jukesgrrl says:

    Jessica and Dan, Simply stunning. Such a pleasing combination of colors and patterns! It’s retro while still being perfectly functional for contemporary life. Congratulations.

  5. Ali says:

    Congratulations on an imaginative and resourceful kitchen redo. I love what you’ve done with it. Keeping the NuTone range hood was a great idea – you really gave it new life. If you hadn’t told us you taped off the chrome and spray painted it, I’d have sworn you had it professionally powder coated. It does indeed look spectacular!

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