by Craftsmans Corner | Jul 15, 2016 | Painting
Your dream kitchen can never truly be complete without a great wall color. You may have envisioned the layout of your kitchen space but ultimately it is the wall colors that will determine whether the outcome is grand and beautiful or plain sad and boring.
If you have been unable to decide what color to choose, this list of 5 popular kitchen wall colors might be helpful.
Because most people start their day in their kitchen, white walls are a great inspiration. Light and energizing, the color will instantly brighten up your room and day. It also feels clean and fresh and makes cooking in it an enjoyable and almost calming experience. White is also an easy color for you to match with shelves, cabinets and other accessories. You can have fun by adding in pops of color with your counter tops and back splash.
Red is another popular color because it is believed that such warm colors stimulate the appetite. A versatile color, various shades of red can be used to really make your kitchen lively and vibrant. Though some consideration is necessary because red is a very strong color. Because red is bold, it can overpower the room and if not used sparingly, your room may feel too dark. When used properly, red kitchen walls are great for setting up a different mood in the kitchen from other parts of your home.
Green is a great color that works very well with other parts and features of the kitchen. Colors such as apple green and mint compliment white and wood accents which are usually abundant in most kitchens. It is also a color that is earthy and soothing. Similarly, it lends an organic vibe and makes your cooking experience more exciting and natural. More striking shades like emerald green can be used for accent walls, cabinets, ceiling or floors to add a jolt of energy.
In recent years, gray has burst into the scene as a reliable and exciting neutral color. Most people choose to paint their walls gray and it can also work wonders in the kitchen. Gray, which is a soft color can ground kitchen space and can create calm in an otherwise very busy room. It is also a color that pairs very well with more vibrant colors. Gray walls and red cabinets or gray counter tops and blue shelves pair beautifully to create a sophisticated space.
Gray is often accused of being too cold, but, this can be avoided by choosing a right shade that takes into account the colors of cabinets and counter tops and also the amount of light entering the room.
Just like a ray of sunshine immediately brightens up a room, yellow can also light up a room. Like red, yellow is also known to stimulate hunger. Yellow is a good option if your kitchen space is relatively small because it can brighten up a room and make it look bigger than it really is. It is a popular color among kitchen colors because it gives off a happy vibe too.
But, before settling on a color, you might want to consider going through magazines, catalogs and the internet to get an idea of the different shades and how to use them.
by Craftsmans Corner | Feb 17, 2015 | Wood Toning
Can I change the color of my trim & cabinets? Toning, shading, wood makeover, colored lacquer, re-staining; whatever it’s called, it’s a great way to get where you want to go in your renovation without spending lots of coin to get there. Here in Denver, homes have a lot of architectural millwork, and in the homes we work, much of it dates back to the frontier days. Because Denver is semi-arid, this wood is often in excellent condition despite its age. Wood finish colors however, are trendy and change like paint colors, sometimes even loop back like classics, and so refinishing wood is preferred to replacing it – especially given the quality of the old-growth wood, milled and finished by craftsmen – it is well worth the effort to restore it.
Adjusting the color of architectural millwork is pretty simple once you understand the basics. The process is simple: in a nutshell what you’re doing is cleaning the surface of the existing finish, then lightly sanding it, then cleaning it again, and finally applying very thin, uniform coats of lightly tinted clear finish base. Viola! New looking cabinets, doors, windows and trim! And BONUS: you’re practicing sustainable renovation too! A tree gave life and was transformed into something beautiful and lasting – you chose to restore it and in so doing you honor and sustain that life cycle. Good on you!
Details – how it’s done in steps:
First: cleaning. If you want to change the color of new or lightly used millwork, often just a simple cleaning will be sufficient, something like denatured alcohol will work . A note of caution- cleaning with solvents may soften or even melt existing finish, so test in an obscure location and not the most-used cabinet next to the refrigerator! For cabinets or trim that has been in use for some time, use xylene to clean, it’s smelly and you’ll need to wear safety equipment (solvent gloves, eye protection, and a good respirator with vapor cartridges, or the cheap but effective 3M model N95) but xylene is effective at removing oils, residue from cleaners and most other foreign matter on the finish. For really soiled surfaces, begin with a cleanser such as tsp substitute, then after overnight dry, use xylene or another appropriate solvent.
Next you’ll want to scuff the finish. This step is necessary to provide a “profile”, or “tooth” to the surface – it may help to think of the goal of this step in more common circumstances; for example, imaging dripping paint on the windshield of your car vs. dripping the same paint on your driveway – which will be easier to remove? The glass, of course, you could probably do it with your thumbnail, whereas the driveway may never come completely clean – no matter how much elbow grease and implement you employ. Anyway, scuff the finish so the new material has something to bond to. But be careful here – you do not want to rub through the stain layer under the finish, just scuff the finish. If you do rub through the stain you will need to touch up any such areas to bring them back to the base color of the adjacent areas. At this stage you will also want to check the putty and fill areas for soundness, remove and replace any deteriorated or missing fill with wood putty that is sand-able, stain-able and of high quality without suspended solvents that can release and “halo” around nail holes after you apply finish coats.
After scuffing, clean again with a clean cloth moistened with thinner, xylene or use tack cloth- available at your local paint store. Once cleaned, scuffed, and wiped clean again, you’re ready to start toning. A note on toning products: a good pedestrian (beginner) product is Minwax Polyshades: this product comes in both water-based and solvent-based (both polyurethanes) colors, and is easy to use – especially on standing & running trim like baseboards, chair rail, picture rail, crown, trim & casing. It’s a little more difficult to use on broad surfaces like doors and cabinetry for the simple reason of uniform coats – easy to achieve by brush on 4 ¼ inch trim, but you’ll probably want to spray broad surfaces to achieve a uniform color & sheen. Test your desired color choice in an obscure location or on a piece of scrap – remember the test area must first be the same color and finish as the areas you intend to treat. With practice, great results can be achieved, but remember – it’s sometimes better to get there in steps, not a single application but several in succession – thin to win – as the old timers say.
Toning products on a more professional level are urethanes, lacquers and conversion varnish finishes. You won’t find these products in your big box home improvement warehouse; and if you do, you certainly will not find anyone who can advise you on mixing ratios and limits, catalyzing, etc. Find a real, old-school paint store, go in there and look for gray hair in an apron- that’s your man. Depending on what you use, you will add colors with different materials. These products are best sprayed, and have a somewhat steeper learning curve. Not recommended for beginners or even intermediate skilled applicators – these finishes dry fast, hard and resist removal (should you make an application error, or a color mixing error), but are as easy as cleaning pudding if you catalyze incorrectly (move along, no fun here either).
With spraying comes additional site preparation: covering floors, walls, ceilings, pets, spouse and offspring – and anything else you do not want to tone, with plastic, rosin paper, masking film, etc. And, you’ll need a plan for vapor management: moving overspray and vapors from the room. Fans work, but remember to allow fresh supply and sufficient output for the most effective and fastest results. On a professional level air-movers are used, these machines come in various sizes and cfm capacities – but essentially they suck in air and push it out a flexible duct that is routed outside and open door or window – and they are safe to use in suspended solvent-vapor environments. You’ll still need to supply makeup air with these.
Finally, and most importantly, you must cover return air vents so the vapors and overspray do not enter your HVAC system and ignite to blow up your house. Shutting the system off is smart too. Safety measures for handling solvents and rags are also important – they will combust, and you’ll have a really bad day or a lousy night’s sleep if that happens.
Carry on then – some things cannot be undone; like ringing a bell, restoring architectural millwork has risks, foremost among them is that you cannot go back to the way it was. Be certain, be inquisitive, and be informed. Hire a professional if there’s much at stake. And practice. On anything about the house you can practice: old stereo cabinet, chairs or kitschy plaques from the thrift store, scrap lumber, the dash board of your ’84 Fleetwood Brougham D’Elegant, but check with your spouse first though, make certain the item which is of little value to you is of similar worth to him or her.