I'm super thrilled to report that the new paint color, London Fog, is up on the walls in our kitchen! I can't say it was a planned weekend project...but we made a serious dent in the painting on Sunday (after I had written the post about selecting the new paint color). After a mere eight hours and two coats, we're the proud new owners of an improved kitchen (color). But before the "big reveal," let's take a look back at what our kitchen looked like when we bought our house. 

Blech. It looked like a 1980s man cave in the woods. Therefore one of our first major projects after buying the house was to complete a quick and inexpensive makeover using the same appliances, counters, and cabinets since that's what our budget would allow. Here's what we've been living with the past seven or so years.

Because our kitchen and sun porch are largely one space (after we removed the wall when we found massive termite damage), changes to one room mean changes to both. Here's a look in the other direction from the kitchen into the sun porch so you can get a better feel for the space.

If you're a loyal Old Town Home reader, you might remember that earlier this year I vowed, as one of my new year's resolutions, to give the sun porch area a makeover. When I introduced new bamboo blinds and a wool rug scored on clearance from Home Goods a few months back, I was sorely disappointed with the results.

As much as I was hoping to avoid painting the two rooms, the longer I lived with the space the more apparent the decision became. So this weekend I declared enough was enough, and with a little help from Lulu, chose Benjamin Moore's London Fog as the new color for the space.

Though we had several other items on the "weekend work" docket, and none of them involved painting the kitchen, after Alex picked up a gallon of the paint we chose I was like a kid on Christmas morning. Just moments after waking up bright and early on Sunday, I had cracked open that fresh gallon of paint and got to work. In fact, Alex was still sound asleep and I was so excited to tackle the project I may have neglected to change out of my pajamas, let alone shower. Whoever said bed head is sexy clearly hasn't seen me first thing in the morning. Gross. 

The work was slow going, as we needed to do some repair to the walls where we've had a few nail pops develop over the years, as well as a small crack. While I cut in, Alex took care of the repairs.

He mixed up some of his 20 minute setting type joint compound, and spread it over the various cracks and nail pops that we noticed. Alex blames all of these on last year's earthquake, but I'm pretty sure they were around before that day. After allowing the joint compound to dry, he sanded all of the patches smooth and gave us a nice surface to work with.

We also took the opportunity to clean some hard to reach spots, including the area under the white hutch in our kitchen. What we discovered under there made my stomach churn. Little did we know, we were housing a dead worm farm.

Speaking of cleaning, we decided to wash all the light switch and outlet covers, ceramic pumpkins that sit on top of the white hutch, and the teapots and plates that sit on top of our cabinets. It was time consuming, and not a task we do often enough. 

It was quickly obvious that we wouldn't be able to get by with just one coat (although I can't think of a time throughout our nine years of renovation projects when one coat has done it). So we resolved to put our efforts into completing the two coat paint job in just the kitchen to minimize the mess and clutter from displacing all our counter top appliances, accessories, and artwork, and leave the sun porch for another day. 

Luckily Alex has longer arms than I do, and was able to get into some of the harder to reach spots like cutting in along the ceiling. As much as I loved the "Traditional Yellow" for many years, I was happy to see it slowly disappearing.

It was a long day for sure, but I'm so happy to say I'm thrilled with the results. The new color looks nice against our counter tops (here are the details on how we made them over with a few cans of spray paint), overall has a much more modern feel, and I think it will look much better with the new rug in the sun porch. 

Once the kitchen was nearly put back together, in true impatient Wendy fashion, I might have started doing a little painting in the sun porch as well. I didn't get far before I ran out of daylight and steam, but we're well on our way to having a clean, fresh coat of paint throughout these two rooms. 

Of course now I can't help but think how much better our kitchen would look with a white subway backsplash and butcher block countertops. But given that we have plans to flip flop the current kitchen/sun porch and family room in a couple years when we do our "real" renovation of the space, it's hard to justify spending that money now for yet another "temporary" fix. (Or is it?)

So what do you think? Are you team "Traditional Yellow" or team "London Fog"? Do you think we're headed in the right direction to updating this area of our house? We've had the yellow for a long time, and we were ready for a change.

Comments 52


Jill PP
8/14/2012 at 10:14 AM
Team London Fog, definitely! I can't wait to see how it looks in the sunroom :)
Thanks Jill! Me too! :-)
8/14/2012 at 10:21 AM
This looks great! Our downstairs sorely needs to be painted (old flat wall paint = never a good look) and I'm torn between the yellow and gray debate. I think you guys chose wonderfully, your space looks fantastic!
Thanks so much, Elisa. Ugh, I know what you mean about old, flat wall paint. I learned that lesson the hard way - the lighter shade of our harlequin wall treatment in the downstairs hallway is flat - and the scuffs drive me crazy!
8/14/2012 at 10:23 AM
I did like the yellow, but I think you are right, the London Fog gives the kitchen a more modern feel and looks better with the bamboo blinds!
Thanks so much! Yeah, the yellow and brown combo before from the walls and blinds weren't working for me. Yellow and brown make me think...welll...you know. Not a good look for a room where you'll be eating. ;-)
8/14/2012 at 10:37 AM
LOVE IT! Normally, I always vote for more color, but I really like the new color and think it makes your cabinets and artwork pop more. Can't wait to see it in the sunroom too!
Thanks Elizabeth. I like color too, but I have to admit it's a welcome change. I feel like the art and accessories have taken on a whole new look. :-)
Karin K
8/14/2012 at 10:46 AM
It looks great! Twenty years ago, nobody would have dared paint a room gray...and it looks so good in your kitchen. Hurry up with the sunroom! Your readers are impatient. :)
LOL, you're so right about 20 years ago. It probably would have been peach and sea foam green (like my house growing up).

I'm anxious to get the sun porch done as well. We're hoping to get some time this week after work, but definitely by the weekend. So exciting!
8/14/2012 at 8:29 PM
Well, I painted my dining room gray about 30 years ago (yeah, I'm old) and it was very pretty. Of course choices of color were limited with blue w2w carpeting and blue drapes -- but I was going for a sophisticated look and though I liked (and still do!) peach and sea foam green those kind of colors weren't going to cut it.

Well, so far I'm a believer on the gray -- it does look wonderful in your kitchen and, as you said, transforms the accessories. I'm eager to see the sunroom in the new color.
8/14/2012 at 11:45 AM
Love the gray walls! We love our gray living room. I would love to see this with some stainless appliances but we're big work with what you have people too. Luckily our appliances all died shortly after moving in. Lucky or unlucky depending on the budget!
Ahh, the kitchen would look so much better with stainless appliances! But we'll have to hold off for a few more years until we know what the new kitchen space will be. (I guess it's worth waiting for a gas range.)

We had to replace the microwave since we moved in, but surprisingly the rest have held on.
8/14/2012 at 8:41 PM
After 25 years in our house the 1950s wall oven is holding on still -- like you guys we're waiting for the big remodel to change it out. (I'm almost 60 and that damn oven is almost as old as I am and still works!) The 1950s dishwasher held on for a remarkably long time too but is now replaced with a modern SS model. Thank goodness the equally old electric stove top crapped out about 10 years ago and we replaced it with a gas one -- still a stopgap though as we bought it at Sears scratch-and-dent for $125. We're hoping to remodel *sometime* soon and have a commercial style gas cooktop resting on our dining room floor to egg us on!
8/14/2012 at 12:16 PM
Love it. Can't wait to see the sunroom. I also love the new rug.
Thanks so much! It's S-L-O-W-L-Y coming together. :-)
8/14/2012 at 1:08 PM
Team London Fog - hands down!
:-) Yay, thanks Ashley!
8/14/2012 at 1:09 PM
I've always loved a white, bright kitchen - great work! I can't believe what a difference just the cabinets and countertops made.
A world of difference, right? It's so much happier of a space than when the previous owner lived here.
Tiffany Miller
8/14/2012 at 1:15 PM
You guys inspire me, we are renovating a small rambler on King St. up near Chinquipin and I love reading your posts. We also have a very small budget and although it can be tough at times we are loving the challenge! This is our first house and a little sweat equity never hurts ;) I love the London Fog and fresh paint is good for the soul. Thanks for posting!
Well hey, neighbor, and congratulations on your first home. What a great location!

We hope you're enjoying the process. Sweat equity builds character, in our opinion. ;-)
8/14/2012 at 1:17 PM
Do the butcher block counters!!! We did ours about 6 years ago, as a "temporary" measure but we love them so much. And, really, Ikea is so inexpensive - two DIY kids like yourselves can rock them out. Only hint: Ikea discontinued their backsplash trim, but you can get a coping mold from Lowe/HD, put a light stain on it, and it totally matches.
OMG, thank you so much for suggesting IKEA. I was just looking at their BB counters and am blown away by how reasonably priced they are. I think we may just have new counter tops in our future after all! :-)
Jill PP
8/15/2012 at 2:14 PM
I love our butcher block counters! When we were getting ours all the local Ikea stores were out of stock, so we went to Lumber Liquidators instead. They're a little more expensive, but also have a larger selection. We settled on cherry, and they look amazing after staining and sealing. I think they're probably my favorite thing in our whole kitchen now :)
8/14/2012 at 1:23 PM
Team London Fog - totally and completely, without a doubt. You are definitely on a better track now; congrats on taking the plunge and changing the paint color!
Thanks so much, Heather! :-) We're really loving it too, I must admit.
8/14/2012 at 1:46 PM
I am totally team grey. I am start the great paint project this weekend. I am going with gray owl! If all goes well I will paint my cabinets black, but I need to put in a glass door to let in some more light.
Oooh, sounds very sophisticated. Please keep us posted on how it turns out!
8/14/2012 at 2:35 PM
LOVE IT. It looks much more modern & fresh. Keep it up, guys!
Awww, thanks so much, Carrie! I think we're on a roll now. All I needed was a little fresh paint to get re-inspired.
8/14/2012 at 3:36 PM
Gotta say, love the gray. Dunno if it makes a difference, but the blue porcelain plates against are breathtaking. Thought about doing some kind of artwork above your sunroom wine rack with that? It's very stunning and sophisticated. Love it with the dark brown accents, too. Good job, guys!
Thanks Jen! I agree with you that the porcelain plates have taken on a whole new look. The collection is very sentimental, so I'm thrilled that they look good.

I think we may be retiring or relocating the plate rack in order to make room for a wine tasting area. Not sure what exactly yet (hanging glassware or chalkboard menu are a couple ideas floating in my head).
Teri Lynn
8/14/2012 at 3:47 PM
I really love the gray, it complements the white in the cabinets and the color of the counter tops so well. You are also ahead of the game when it comes to fall cleaning now that your pumpkins are ready.
Hahaha. I didn't think of it that way, but you're right Teri Lynn. It's like we're doing our Halloween decorating prep. :-) Bring on Autumn!
8/14/2012 at 4:13 PM
Love, Love, Love it!! It's so fresh and modern. I can't wait to see the rest!
Thanks, Kelly! I'm super excited to see the rest too. I'm so inspired now to keep going. I guess all it took was a little fresh paint to get re-energized!
8/14/2012 at 4:28 PM
I honestly didn't think I'd like the grey for a kitchen, but it really makes your countertops spark. As far as the backsplash, I'd say go for it. You don't have a lot of counter length and it will be a few years before you do the big reno. I have ended up taking a lot longer than anticipated for some of the upgrades in the bungalow, and I wish I'd done a better 'in the mean time' job since I've been living with it for longer than I thought I would be.
You bring up a really good point. We've held off on doing much to the space because it's "temporary" ...but we've been living with temporary for nearly a decade. I wish we had done a little more to the counters or backsplash sooner, but it is still a couple (or a few) years off!
8/14/2012 at 9:19 PM
ohmygosh! Night and day difference! Your kitchen was 'nice' before, but now it's ah-MAZING! And all you have done is PAINT your cabinets, walls, and counters! That's some bang for your buck!
:-) Thanks so much, Maggie! Paint can work wonders!
8/14/2012 at 10:13 PM
your plates look so gorgeous against the grey!! i think it would be stunning to place them in wire plate holders directly on the wall, but i know that's not everyone's thang. :)
Actually, it's totally our thing! www.flickr.com/photos/oldtownhome/6529500935/in/set-72157628145107110

If we hadn't done that in the living room, I would absolutely do it in this room. Great minds think alike. :-)
8/15/2012 at 8:29 AM
I like the gray--it's calming, sophisticated and makes your accessories and trip "pop" nicely. I have a bathroom renovation coming and wasn't thinking about gray, but I'll have to reconsider. Thanks so much for the peek.
Thanks Diana. :-) Good luck with your bathroom project!
8/15/2012 at 9:48 AM
"changes to one room mean changes to both" Haha, I totally know what you mean! I too had to give up my once beloved yellow wall when I painted the adjacent wall charcoal grey, the two just didn't work together.

The new grey kitchen wall shows off your kitchen beautifully! The white cabinets and blue plates really pop against the grey wall and overall your kitchen has a modern sophisticated look that gives it an extra clean vibe, if that makes sense.
Wow, thank you so much! That's so nice of you to say, Kate. I can't wait until we can get the sun porch in shape with a few new touches. :-)
8/16/2012 at 8:43 PM
Hmmm, honestly, I'm not sure. If I'm going to be completely honest (and keep in mind it's only my opinion), I'm not a huge fan of either. The yellow seemed too 90's country, and the grey seems too modern. I do prefer the grey, but it seems a little blah for me. It's just paint though. It's one of the easiest things to change. I guess the grey on its own is fine, and maybe it's the combination of the white cabinets that I don't like? I dunno.

I DO, however, think it's awesome and funny to see that you literally started painting right after getting up. :D
We appreciate your honesty, JC. Color is a very subjective thing, and nearly impossible to find one that pleases everyone!
Katie Collins Briscoe
9/11/2012 at 6:17 PM
love the new color. now i'm inspired to paint my yellow bedroom light gray.
9/22/2012 at 2:16 PM
Love the gray! I may steal it for our "temporary" kitchen work. We've been thinking of Ikea butcher block for a while, and seeing our gorgeous new tile and countertops may get us going.

I noticed that your lovely sun room space has a lot of brick-do you have any hope/interest in ever exposing it? Is that even possible? We have a brick fireplace painted a hideous brown and would like to strip to the original brick but have no clue what might work (paint stripper has not).
Thanks! We're really loving the gray as well.

Unfortunately the brick in our sun porch isn't attractive, and therefore we have no plans to expose it. It is possible to remove paint from brick with a whole lot of paint stripper and elbow grease. Good luck!
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